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. . .With Faint Praise

February 9, 2010

This morning’s Daily Local carries a front page story on the newly gutted and renovated “Tally’s,” a long time downtown restaurant.  Last year a young chef, his wife, and father-in-law purchased it and undertook the chore of moving it beyond its role as the old-timers’ downtown coffee shop.  Slowly the menu was revised; hot beef sandwiches and patty melts didn’t vanish, pie and coffee were still plentiful, but more opportunities for a finer sort of dining were introduced.

A month ago the restaurant closed for a major overhaul.  It was literally gutted and rebuilt; new fixtures, colors, floor-plan, the works.  Yesterday it opened and a reporter from the Daily Local presented herself to craft a front page review and praise-piece. 

Today we have it.  The article recounted the long history of the venue, described the renovation, and assured the old-time clientle they still had a place, and residents of the town that were born post-1946 who did not have a sense of historical loyalty for the place were assured that 0ur town had a more up-scale dining establishment.  A solid piece, but the reporter decided not to quit there.  She threw in a couple of her on-the-scene interviews.

The reporter seized upon a bunch of college kids sitting at the round table near the door and asked their reaction.  “It’s like Starbucks meets cute retro café,” replied Aryn Rowe.  She thought the new look would bring in a younger crowd.  Ms. Rowe’s friend, Sam Heck, opined that the changes to Tallys are “a little bit sad.  You’ve got to keep up with the times.”

The reporter then sought out the help and  latched onto the dishwasher.  He professed to be happy “about his new, industrial stainless steel washing station.’

“‘Oh, it’s a lot better than it used to be,’ he said.  ‘You’ve got more room to walk.  I’ve worked around this place for 22 years.  I’ve been around the same old, same old.  So it’s about time it got changed.'”  Thus ended the review.

I’m going to stop in later today to see whether our poor visionary chef is crying or laughing.

— Margadant

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Gunnar Berg permalink
    February 9, 2010 12:51 pm

    I’m certain that, “It’s like Starbucks meets cute retro café,” was meant as a complement, but it’s like when the spittoons on the floor are replaced by hanging ferns in the windows of a favorite watering hole. Or some asshole paints aged wood walls light yellow, “To brighten the place up”.
    (sigh) If we wanted bright, we’d stay outside.

    The local Starbucks closed without this old curmudgeon ever being in it. There were rumors that a Maidrite might go in the building, but nothing came of it. Yet.

    • February 9, 2010 4:25 pm

      A Maidrite would be a throw-back, but a welcome addition. I remember to old one that was tucked away east of the Hyde Building fondly. As for Starbucks, you didn’t miss a thing. The only decent cup of coffee I ever got out of a Starbucks was in Seattle. I guess the secret never made it over the Divide.

      –JM

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